Synlett 2014; 25(5): 748-749
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1340638
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Potassium Selenocyanate

Adrián A. Heredia
INFIQC, Departamento de Química Orgánica, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Haya de la Torre y Medina Allende, Ciudad Universitaria, X5000HUA Córdoba, Argentina   Email:
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Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
13 January 2014 (online)


Potassium selenocyanate (KSeCN) is an easy-to-handle and readily available reagent. It is crystalline, colorless, highly hygroscopic, and air sensitive. Non-adequate storage may lead to its decomposition. This salt is soluble in protic solvents and non-protic polar solvent such as DMF, DMSO, NMP, and acetonitrile.

This reagent is commercially available and seldom prepared in the laboratory. It can be synthesized from metallic selenium and potassium cyanide in hot water or ethanol.

Methodologies employing KSeCN as the selenium source in the synthesis of organic selenocyanates and isoselenocyanates are practical and versatile. Because this functional group has a moderate reactivity, its conversion into other functional groups is highly interesting, allowing the formation of new C–Se bonds and the further generation of compounds with significant synthetic,[1] pharmacological, and biological value.[2]

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